Looks to be a very intriguing and deep UFC 211 card on Saturday night from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. It’s headlined by title bouts in the men’s heavyweight division as well as in the women’s strawweight division. Arguably the most dominant MMA fighter alive right now competes in that latter bout. The five-fight main card is expected to begin at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view. Here’s a look at those bouts, including one big prelim, and their Sports Interaction MMA odds.
Stipe Miocic vs. Junior dos Santos
Records: Miocic (16-2), dos Santos (18-4)
UFC Odds: Miocic -135, dos Santos +105
Prediction: Miocic by decision
Miocic, 34, will look to tie the UFC record for consecutive successful heavyweight title defenses (two) in a rematch against dos Santos. Yes, just two would tie a record. This division is more cutthroat than any other with two huge guys in the Octagon beating on each other. Miocic, an American, lost a unanimous decision to dos Santos (who was a heavy favourite) in a very close entertaining fight in December 2014. Miocic has won four in a row since. He upset Fabricio Werdum by first-round knockout in May 2016 to win the heavyweight crown and defended it last September for the first time with a first-round KO (punches) over Alistair Overeem. The 33-year-old Dos Santos, a former heavyweight champion, has alternated wins and losses over his past seven bouts and the Brazilian has competed just twice since the first meeting with Miocic due to injury. Dos Santos, rated UFC’s No. 4 heavyweight, last fought in April 2016 and beat Ben Rothwell by unanimous decision.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade
Records: Jedrzejczyk (13-0), Andrade (16-5)
Division: Women’s Strawweight
UFC Odds: Jedrzejczyk -190, Andrade +145
Prediction: Jedrzejczyk by decision
Jedrzejczyk is the strawweight champion and has become the next Ronda Rousey with her dominance in the Octagon. The 29-year-old from Poland doesn’t devastate opponents in Round 1 like Rousey did but is 7-0 since joining the UFC, winning five of the past seven by unanimous decision. She beat her countrywoman and former unbeaten Karolina Kowalkiewicz by UD back in November. The Brazilian Andrade is ranked as the No. 3 fighter in the division. She is 3-0 since dropping down to 115 pounds and comes off a decision win over Angela Hill in February.
Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal
Records: Maia (24-6), Masvidal (32-11)
UFC Odds: Masvidal -130, Maia -105
Prediction: Maia by KO or TKO
The winner here could get a shot at welterweight champion Tyron Woodley next. The Brazilian Maia is showing no signs of slowing down at age 39 as he’s on a six-fight winning streak and ranked third in the division. Maia’s last loss was to Canadian Rory MacDonald at UFC 170. Maia was last in the Octagon in October 2016 and beat Carlos Condit (currently ranked No. 4) by first-round submission. Masvidal, who is from Miami and a former lightweight, is 32 and has won his past three over quality opponents Donald Cerrone, Jake Ellenberger and Ross Pearson. Masvidal is ranked No. 5.
Frankie Edgar vs. Yair Rodriguez
Records: Edgar (20-5-1), Rodriguez (11-1)
UFC Odds: Edgar -135, Rodriguez +105
Prediction: Rodriguez by decision
Edgar is a former lightweight champion now ranked as the No. 2 featherweight. The 35-year-old American has won six of his past seven fights, with the only loss coming in an interim title fight against current featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 200 last July. It was Edgar’s second career loss to Aldo. Edgar hasn’t fought since because he underwent surgery on a torn groin muscle in January. Boxing is full of stars from Mexico, but not so much the UFC yet. That could change starting with Rodriguez, a rising star who is ranked seventh. The 24-year-old is 6-0 since joining the UFC and was impressive in a second-round TKO (punches) over B.J. Penn in January. Edgar is 3-0 in his career against Penn.
Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
Records: Cejudo (10-2), Pettis (15-2)
UFC Odds: Cejudo -425, Pettis +285
Prediction: Cejudo by submission
Matchup of Americans. Cejudo, a former Olympic gold medalist wrestler, is ranked No. 2 in the flyweight division despite coming off losses to Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. No shame in that as Johnson is the flyweight champion and Benavidez the No. 1 contender. Pettis is the younger brother of former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Sergio Pettis, just 23, has won five of his past six fights but this is a major step up in competition.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier
Records: Alvarez (28-5), Poirier (21-5)
UFC Odds: Poirier -130, Alvarez +100
Prediction: Alvarez by KO or TKO
Also both Americans and the finale of the prelim fights. That tells you how good the main card is. Alvarez hasn’t fought since losing the lightweight belt to Conor McGregor by second-round TKO at UFC 205 in November. Alvarez is now ranked No. 3 in the division. Poirier, ranked ninth, also has a loss on his resume to McGregor, coming in September 2014 by first-round TKO. Poirier, a former featherweight, last fought in February and beat Jim Miller by majority decision.